Artistic Director Mythili Kumar founded Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose in 1980 to present professional–quality and innovative performances of South Indian classical dance. Now celebrating 35 years of performance and instruction, Mythili has been Abhinaya’s Artistic Director throughout its growth as a regionally and nationally-recognized dance program. She has nurtured over 1600 Indian American girls, training a generation of exceptional dancers.
Through Mythili’s direction, Abhinaya
What did the Fellowship or Laureate mean to you at the time you received it?
In 1994, it meant that my work and choreography were recognized. It also helped my reputation by adding local recognition information in my bio. Possibly this assurance of skill and quality helped in leveraging other grants. To receive the 2015 Legacy award - this recognition means a LOT.
What do you do now? Has your art evolved or changed?
I am still Artistic Director of Abhinaya Dance Company - teaching, performing and doing choreography. The next generation of dancers as co-choreographers are bringing new ideas and dynamism to the performances. The dance as a living tradition continues to evolve with presentation, collaboration, and choreography relevant to contemporary audiences for Bharatanatyam
What is one piece of advice you would give to an emerging artist?
Persevere - do it full-time, sincerely and whole-heartedly, without expecting any results. Your efforts will be rewarded for sure in time.
Briefly, how would you describe the state of the arts locally, as well as national and beyond?
With respect to Indian classical arts, many youngsters exposed to it at a young age are excelling in it, winning awards in India and here and taking dance and music as a profession, unlike the previous generation. This is happening here and throughout the nation. This summarized will be Great future for Indian arts.
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